During the summer of 2010 the media were forced to confront one of the major taboos around professional football as one dominant yet largely unspoken-of problem became more and more impossible to ignore: the problem of cats.
'I'd like to see the rules changed,' says Arsenal's Gaël Clichy. 'It's hard to defend whilst balancing a cat on one foot.'
'Cats in football isn't all a bad thing,' says Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner. 'Only today we celebrated Oscar's 4th birthday.'
'The problem of kittens in football isn't just their number,' says Spurs' Gareth Bale, 'It's also their size.'
'The real problem with cats in football,' says Nicklas Bendtner, 'is the ridiculous fouls you cause when they surprise you.'
'I was frustrated and made a poor judgment,' says Manchester City's Mario Balotelli. 'I shouldn't have lashed out and hit those cats.'
'The worst thing about cats in football is their singing,' says Manchester City's Vincent Kompany. 'It's awful.'
'I had to stop Evatt,' said Aiyegbeni Yakubu. 'I agree football has a cat problem these days but violence is not the answer.'
'I've no problem with cats per se,' says Spurs' Gareth Bale. 'They're playful and friendly, but not suited to football.'
Gary Taylor-Fletcher says: 'Blackpool are being held back. Held back by too many kittens.'
'There are too many cats in football,' says John O'Shea. 'They disrupt the game. I don't know why we need them.'
'I accept cats have a place in football,' says Spurs' Gareth Bale, 'I just don't understand why we need so many.'
Fernando Torres today sustained a cat-related groin injury. 'I question the wisdom of having cats on the pitch at all,' he later said.
Jérôme Boateng and Samir Nasri flee in fear. In fear of an excited kitten.